Improving Work Posture While Sitting

By Ryan Fogel,

On average, most of us spend up to 12-13 hours daily sitting in front of the computer. What we may not be aware of is just how much our poor posture is affecting our health. There are many negative impacts of poor posture on our bodies, including: rounded shoulders, potbelly, muscle fatigue in the neck and back, headaches, and other bodily pains.

Failure to sit properly can cause these ailments to become worse and potentially have life-altering side effects, such as a permanent change to your spinal cord. Poor sitting posture doesn’t just cause a temporary strain or discomfort, but long-term negative effects.

Tips for Better Ergonomics

To prevent chronic neck and back pain and other health issues that affect productivity, it is essential to practice better ergonomics. The term ergonomics refers to tailoring sitting and work tools to fit your body and improve health conditions. Here are some helpful tips that can improve posture and reduce pain in the body.

1. Practice Neutral Posture

The neutral posture is the natural alignment position of your back when sitting. If the natural alignment of the spine is compromised due to slouching, hunching, or injury, this can lead to spinal compression, nerve pinching, and muscle tension. To achieve a neutral position sitting at your work desk or at home, do the following:

  • Position your monitor at eye level, so you don’t have to tilt the head
  • Pull your shoulders back and let your back rest flat against the chair
  • Ensure your feet are rested on the ground without the legs or ankles crossed
  • Keep your upper back straight, use a lumbar support tool if necessary. This also prevents slouching.

2. Watch for Back and Neck Pain

Watch out for symptoms such as stiffness and soreness in you back, shoulders and neck. If you observe symptoms, ensure you make daily or regular notes to track any habit or routine that may be causing or contributing to your pain. Using this information, you can begin to make the necessary adjustments to your posture to effectively prevent any stiffness or soreness in your muscles while seated.

3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks

One of the major reasons why the work desk causes back pain and chronic diseases is because it limits your movement. Research has found that taking regular movement breaks every 30 minutes helps reduce the health risks posed by sitting for extended periods of time. It is vital to make time for scheduled breaks and good posture exercises during sedentary work.

4. Use Ergonomic Supports

It can be tough to maintain a neutral posture when sitting at a desk. It is difficult to remain in alignment due to years of poor posture habits. Thankfully, excellent support products make it possible to attain a neutral seated posture and build healthy ergonomic habits.

Some of these kinds of products include adjustable ergonomic chairs with headrests and lumbar supports, footrests, and workstation components like monitor arms, keyboard trays, and ergonomic mouse. A popular option today is the “sit-stand” desk, which allows switching between sitting and standing easily.

5. Create an Ergonomic Workstation

Set up an ergonomic workstation if you want to achieve complete body wellness. A properly set up ergonomic workstation will:

  • Allow for full range of motion
  • Have items placed at the correct distance to prevent reaching
  • Provide adequate leg room and foot placement
  • Alleviate hunched posture

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Risk Management, Ergonomics Training, Workplace Injury Reduction
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3 Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

By Ryan Fogel,

3 Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Have you ever felt that tight, sharp pain in your lower back after hours of work? You’re not alone. Back pain is an unfortunate consequence of many modern-day jobs, and it can severely harm your work performance and health. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can relieve your back pain at work.   

Get up and move around  

Humans are born to be active; we’re not built to sit for long hours of the day. We need to get up and move around, and while this may seem difficult for stationary workers, it’s not impossible. Set a reminder for yourself to get up and walk around for at least 60 seconds once every hour. Take longer walks during your lunchbreak and, if you can, try doing some of your work while standing up (for example, instead of emailing a coworker, walk over to their desk and talk to them).   

Pay attention to your posture  

Take a moment right now and check in with your body. Are you slumped down in your chair? Are your shoulders raised towards your ears? We often don’t pay attention to how we’re sitting throughout the day, causing neck and back pain later on. So, take some time to check in with yourself. Straighten your back, lower your shoulders, and raise your chin to give your body some relief.  

Set up an ergonomic workspace  

An ergonomic workspace is key to preventing and relieving back pain. Use lumbar support for your lower back and adjust your chair height so that your feet lay flat on the floor. Also, check to ensure that your monitor is slightly below eye level to prevent yourself from hunching over or raising your head.  

Here at Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we provide plenty of ergonomic furniture to help you live a more ergonomic lifestyle. So, contact us to have us evaluate your workspace today! 

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention
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